How To Do More, With Less

June 25, 2020

As we enter into a new era in the dental world, there are many changes that are happening. There is still a lot of uncertainty on what is to come. This can work both for us, and against us at the same time. We are seeing practices that are having a hard time getting their team to come back, and on the other hand, practices taking this time to slow down, and evaluate the flow of the office.  So how do we move forward with what we have?

Having this time off has been a great time to look at our team, where are we doing well, and where could we improve?  In a sense, going back to basics. Let’s start by discussing “Titles” within the office. I like to use this term loosely because sometimes when we add titles to positions, we get a shift in responsibility.  Let’s talk about how to organize the team, in order to maximize what we have!

Positions in an everyday office include, Dentist, Hygienist, Assistant, Treatment Coordinator, Scheduling Coordinator, and an office leader.  Sometimes the leader is the doctor, and sometimes the leader is a manager, or Business Lead.  We all know the best way to get nothing accomplished, is to assign a task to multiple people :) How do we break down the positions, and hold our team accountable?

Ultimately the scheduling coordinator is responsible for the schedule, and the treatment coordinator is responsible for presenting treatment plans. IF you are unsure of who belongs in what position have the team brainstorm the tasks they complete and decide if this should be under “Scheduling Coordinator” or “Treatment Coordinator”.  Keep in mind this isn’t meant to be set in stone. This may change over time, based on what works and what isn’t working.  

Step 1: Start by setting up a meeting with the team, and have them write out their daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Here we don’t need to be super specific, just the tasks that are done, and when. What we are doing is…...building the positions in the office!! YES! Your TEAM is going to build their “Job Description”, “Checklists”, and “Objectives”, which will ultimately lead to our “training manual”.  Again, our team will participate in what they help create! YAYY!! Just think, how many times have we hired a team member, and put them in the back (or front) without ANY direction? (We have all been there!)

Step 2: Now is the perfect time to decide WHEN each team member should be able to complete that task, given their position.  Go through and label each task as 1 (meaning they should be able to complete that task in 1 month), 2 (within 2 months), and 3 (within 3 months) of hire date.  This will make training SO much easier! Now we can organize this list into our 30, 60, and 90 day objectives! You now have a layout for your next new hire!!

Step 3: Have them write out 2-3 sentences explaining how to do each task.  (IF this needs more explanation, we can build on that later).

Step 4: The doctor, or Office Manager can now compile the job descriptions, checklists (daily, weekly, monthly), 30, 60, 90 day objectives and breakdowns of each task to be completed!  The best part...THEY created it!. GREAT JOB! You are one step closer to maximizing your team!

Within this simple 1-2 hour meeting you have created accountability within each position, with the help of your team.  YOU are no longer the doctor wondering how you can get your team on board to do things YOU created for them.  THEY are creating their own positions! Don’t forget to add lunch in there and maybe a fun team activity:)  So just because we have downtime, and our teams are changing, some downsizing, it doesn’t have to be a time to panic.  By organizing your team, and responsibilities in the office, you are able to maximize what you DO have. It also will create a better dynamic within the whole office. It may seem overboard at first, but I PROMISE you are doing more with less.  

- Kellie Black, RDH

Disclaimer: This article is the sole opinion and research of the writer and doesn’t reflect the opinions of ZenSupplies.

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